Friday, December 20, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Isn't it amazing how God creates such beauty?  I look out my window at the snow falling ever so gently, covering the ground with a thick blanket of white.  Children in the distance laughing and making snowmen.  At the same time, I am listening to Edwin and the children telling me about their special Christmas party that they had celebrated yesterday.  How the weather was so beautiful and how they ate turkey for the first time.  They told me about the story when baby Jesus was born and I was so proud of them.

Christmas was celebrated early at our Home of Angels because of the traditional custom to visit their village at this time of year. The few that do have living relatives will spend a week or two with them and return.  Because they have bonded into this amazing family unit within their new home, the thrill of a Christmas party together was very special.  Thanks Uncle Edwin for all the extras you provided.

Before I show you the pictures, I have to tell you a cute story.  Edwin came home holding a big
turkey last week.  One of the kids said "Uncle Edwin, you should have bought two turkeys."thinking he was going to breed them.  They had no idea it was a surprise for them to eat at their party.

I don't know if anyone can spot this…but I think Alan is moving into his mischievious 3's.  He is afraid of nothing.  Ummm, wonder where his shoes are…...

Uh huh…gotcha 

This is their special turkey dinner Ugandan style.  Of course along with the pop which is a very big
treat.  Maybe when our oven arrives, we will have cake for dessert next year.

Meet my prayer group….Catherine, Pam, Christina and Kim.  They have been working hard to make pillow case dresses, not just the kids at our Home of Angels, but also for the less fortunate in the communities around us.  I am so blessed to have these women in my life.
Thanks for all your hard work.

We are so happy to have received 100% of the solar lights donated from Thomas and his people in Hong Kong.  These are gifts to the poorest of the poor and are being distributed as we speak.
Thanks also to Moses for the good job he did releasing them from Customs at the airport and getting them safely to us in Mpumudde.

Meet Rachel (on the left) and her friends from Heritage Wood Secondary School.  Rachel is the daughter of Thomas who donated the solar lights above.  These girls worked very hard throughout the year to raise money by baking banana bread.  Jennifer, another daughter is at University back East and is helping us also.  Amazing family….

This is Genia, Chris and Erika from McMath Secondary school in Richmond.  I had met Genia
at Rock Ridge Canyon at a speaking engagement where the top leadership kids in B.C. attended.  From that  event, we were chosen by the Interact Club of McMath to be sponsored as an International charity and in turn, they are sponsored by their local Rotary Club.

I don't think I could ever put into words the happiness you have all created at this home.  Whether is be your prayers, your donations or just your encouragement as a sponsor, they are entirely different children.  They now consider themselves brothers and sisters, they are improving at school and they are starting to love life for the first time.  Thank you Lord for this amazing gift of life you have placed with us.

Edwin and I would also like to wish you and your families a special season filled with the joy of Jesus.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Good and The Bad

Nothing is ever easy.  You try to make a difference in this world and when you think you are on a roll, it crashes and you get discouraged.  Isn't that what life's all about?  The good and the bad?  Well, there is no way that the bad is going to discourage Edwin and I from proceeding forward.  By the Grace of God, we will continue this journey to the end as He has always gotten us through the difficult times so far.  Presently, those tough times are mostly medical.  Either our littlest guy Alan (2 1/2)  is in trouble with severe phenomena, or our dedicated worker, Sula has been almost beaten to death for a crime he had nothing to do with.  On the other side of the coin, we have two new children.   Dan, age 5 and Saika, age 6.  We had to put them into detox as they had been living on the streets for a year and sniffing glue was the only way to combat their fears.  They were totally addicted.  It has been a rough ride for them but now Saika, the oldest has become such a happy little boy.  His little brother Dan is staying close to him hoping to pick up on these new feelings he sees in his brother.  Thanks Elliot for sponsoring them both.

Tomorrow is parents day at school.  Again, Edwin will attend for 6 hours watching them sing and perform their hearts out, but loving every moment as he watches as a proud Uncle.  
They have come so far and like Edwin says, the most amazing thing about this new family is that they really consider themselves brothers and sisters.  When a new child comes in, they all stick together supporting that child, making them feel comfortable and at home.  Bed wettings are common as most are suffering severe trauma, but no one makes fun…they all understand.

Our two biggest supporters, Save on Foods and Global TV have never left our side.  Global recently filmed as the Gleaners loaded 500,000 meals into our donated container and it will possibly air this next week on Channel 11 with Linda Aylsworth at around 6:30pm.

If it wasn't for Save on Foods always there whenever we need ingredients to bake banana bread, we could never have continued this journey. They invite us to have fundraisers to promote our Home of Angels and invite the firefighters to even help us.  We have been very blessed by these two organizations.  

Recently, I was fearing for this child's life.   He developed severe pneumonia but when Edwin and his brothers tried to find help, there was no respirator available.  Eventually, they did find one at a hospital not too far from our compound.  With the help of a wonderful women doctor and the love of our Aunty Aidha, Alan is now doing well.  

Meet Saika and Dan, our two newest family members.  They were abandoned a few years ago and Edwin found them living on the streets of Jinja.  Because they were addicted to glue for survival, we thought very seriously about bringing them into our Home of Angels.  Because of their young ages, we decided to help them by detoxing them for 2 weeks as they were young enough to change.  Saika the 6 year old adjusted more easily than this brother Dan. Saika is so happy living with us but Dan has a little more adjustment ahead of him.  They will be just fine.

So happy to see this smile

Two little boys from the streets who found a home that loves them

One day my doorbell rang….. Rob, the Manager of the Sumas Save on Foods store had arrived to deliver an order of banana bread ingredients.  When I saw his arm in a sling, I couldn't believe his dedication to us.  Gord, the Manager of Whatcom Save on Foods has also made this same door to door delivery in the past.  This amazing company goes far beyond the normal to help make a difference in this world.  They are there for all of us….Children's Hospital, Salvation Army, the Food Bank and many in need. That is what Save on Foods is about…."Helping Others" and I need to share that with all of you so that you will understand the heart behind this company.  Whether it's an orphanage on the other side of the world or the sick children right here at home, Save on Foods is a blessing.

Meet Carly…Carly wanted to do a school project and Save on Foods let her do one for us promoting our banana bread.  She organized, had meetings with the Manager and set out to make it a huge success on the weekend.  Every loaf was sold…….I need to be writing a "Kids helping Kids" book. 
Good Job Carly

First of all, I would like to say thank you to Lois and Larry by donating their farm for our container to sit on for 7 days as we loaded.  What a job that was.  I want to thank our team from Northview  including the wives for there help.  We had two prayers… one was no rain and the other was that all we collected would fit.  It had poured for one week prior to the day we loaded but the morning of the big day, the sun arrived.  Everything fit…everything and when we closed the doors, the rains came again with a vengeance.  I would say someone was listening to our prayers.

Barry Kenna and his wife donated this container.  But, before we saw it, Barry went to the container yard and constructed 32' of shelving built to spec for the size of our boxes.  He wanted this to stay on our property in Uganda as a storage/office space as we would really get a lot of use of it.  Thank you Barry… We all appreciate you both so much.

Global TV arrived as the 500,000 meals were being loaded into the front of the container.  Can you imagine how many people this is going to feed?  Please go to and see the good work they do for millions of hungry people around the world.  We feel very blessed by knowing
these wonderful people.

Thank you Gleaners team for all your hard work to load the 500,000 meals into our container.  This is such a wonderful place to volunteer and when you see first hand the results on the other side of the world, it makes you proud to be a part of helping.

All I can say is…..I sure am so blessed with wonderful people in my life.  Lois had prepared a delicious lunch for everyone including homemade cinnamon rolls.  This amazing group from Northview church volunteered their time to load the remainder of the container and because of them, we had room to spare.   A special thank you to Northview for the two ovens donated.  We are now set to bake banana bread in Uganda with the 200 banana trees donated by Edwin's family.  Never in my wildest dreams did I see that coming.

The chicken house is almost finished.  The roof is on and the structure is complete except inside.  All we need to do is purchase the chickens and have them start laying.  For our kids and the medical issues they have, these eggs will help them health wise but not only that, the excess will be a profit for us to operate.  We are finding that the operation is more difficult than we thought with the kids living here now, but like I said before, God is with us and He doesn't abandon His orphans.

Every morning the children wake and do chores.  They constantly work hard on cleaning the red dirt of everything but I do know how happy they are to live here and they think nothing of doing this.  Our Aunties are teaching them to work and grow.

Our Home of Angels is becoming a real home.  We may only have 11 children out of 58, but as we slowly grow, the children feel the love and the results are incredible.  When a new child arrives, they band together as a family and welcome them.  They all have their own issues to deal with but no matter what those are, they focus on the situation presently in front of them.  As a result, the new ones feel the love and adjust quickly.

I am so proud of Edwin and the team over there.   I might be on this side of the world and watching it all happen on Skype, but in reality, he is doing an amazing job and these kids are going to succeed in life.  They are now slowly overcoming their past issues and only looking towards the future.

Thank you EVERYONE  for your donations, your prayers and anything you have done to make this wonderful home grow into a reality.  A special thanks to our anonymous donor that orchestrated the donation of sending this container in the first place; to Barry and Dorothy for purchasing it; and also to Erich and Gord at ACGI for all the work they did to help me with the paperwork and getting it to the ship on time.
Also to Katie and Jenese for never giving up baking

God bless you all

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Special Month

This has certainly been a very special month on both our side of the world and in Jinja, Uganda.

We have had a 40' container donated by Dorothy and Barry Kenna, two people who have poured their hearts and souls into our project over the past three years.  The Kenna family has purchased this container in order that we will be able to use it for either storage, offices or places for children to sleep.
It is also a wonderful chance to equip our homes with the necessary items to function both for the children and for the future teams visiting.

We have been so blessed to have had an anonymous donor come forth to donate the cost of the trip by ship to Mombasa, Kenya and then by truck into Uganda.  The Gleaners in Abbotsford have also donated 500,000 high protein meals for all the children and the people in our community.  Thank you to the hundreds of hands that chop vegetables every day to have made this happen.  Our plan is to go into the deep villages to share this food with the poorest of the poor.

We have been given 80 feminine hygiene kits from the Community Loft in Coquitlam including a donation of an industrial size snapper.   This will equip us to have classes in our grass hut to teach the women how to help their young girls with feminine hygiene and also classes to explain what is happening to their bodies.  No more witchdoctors telling them they are full of evil spirits.

We do need your help though.  We would like to ask all of you if you have any of the following items that you would like to donate for our Home of Angels.  It is the one chance for us to transport items to set up our homes and we would be very grateful for your help.

You can email me at with anything you would like to send.

  • Pots and pans
  • Corelle dishes 
  • Any utensils for a kitchen or baking equipment
  • Silverware
  • Tablecloths for a large table (12 people) or placemats
  • pillows
  • twin blankets
  • night tables
  • 3 dressers
  • Any large throw rugs for the stone floors
  • couch and chair
  • coffee table or end tables
  • large rugs on stone floor
  • desk
  • Treadle machine
  • Good quality flannel material for pads
  • 100% cotton (quilters type cotton) for the shields 
  • Good locks for security
  • School materials...pens, pencils, writing tablets, anything to learn English and study with
  • Garden equipment such as wheelbarrows and hoes
  • Bathing towels, wash cloths or tea towels for kitchen, etc.
  • Board Games for children to learn communication in English
  • Black leather shoes of all sizes for school and rain boots/coats for the children
Thanks in advance to all of you.  We really appreciate your help and dedication over 
the years in helping to make this work.  God has used you in such a wonderful way to change

This is a sample of the feminine hygiene kit that we will be teaching the women how to make.  Many young girls who don't know what is happening to their bodies hide for one week out of the month.  They either have no parent to tell them what is happening to them or they are being told that they are full of evil spirits.  Education is the only way....

We have a new gate on our 2 acre sustainability land.  We have a 500 layer chicken house being built and also have the children planting their own gardens in this area.  Beside the gardens, we have avocado, mango, banana, pineapple and jack fruit trees thriving . Eventually, we will be able to sell our eggs and fruits as another way to provide money to sustain our Home of Angels.

Removing the stumps before the gardens are planted.

Our gardens....oh my goodness.  In Canada, we have a radish come up out of the ground and it looks like a little mushroom size red vegetable. Uganda, it comes up like a tomato size red vegetable.  Everything is huge, including the green beans and carrots.  I am sure all of this will be
cooked for nutrition.  Wondering how a radish will do being cooked....hmmmm

This is Joseph.  We almost lost Joseph two years ago.  He needed a bag of blood twice in 2 days and when I tried to donate mine, they said I was too old.  Doctor Isaac got in the chair and gave his own blood to save him.  Since then, he has been stable but with these vegetables, this little boy will be one of the ones who will really benefit. This is what these kids need most of all.  It is evident that God is watching over them as these vegetables thrive in our gardens.

We have been blessed with layer chickens as another sustainability program.  Thanks to the Ames Foundation and Thomas in Hong Kong, we are able to build a brooder area along with two lay areas for the 500 chicks that will be housed here.  Thanks to both of you for not only helping us to sustain ourselves but also supplying our children with eggs that they so desperately need.

The paving stones are almost completed.  Dirt is placed on the road intentionally to fill the cracks when the rains come.  This has been a pain staking venture for one man who has literally made 30,000 by hand.

No more mosquitos....we have netting throughout the entire building for preventing all these little
pests from entering our homes.  We can now open the windows and get air, never to worry about
those malaria infested mosquitos from entering again.

We are in the process of building a sock pit for the latrine used by the children.  The showers will be installed soon and this area will be complete.

I want to introduce you to Saika.  This little boy was abandoned a year ago.  He was 5 when he went to the streets and now is addicted to glue.  Glue helps them to survive through the pain and fear.  We know he is a true orphan and he does have a brother with him on the streets that is younger than he is.  We will be putting him into a detox home and if he can overcome the addiction, we will take him with us.  We have to be sure he will be OK before we will put him with the other kids, but if not, we will continue to work with him until he is on the road to recovery.  We need your prayers for Saika and his brother.

This has been by far a very special month.  We have had many blessings pouring down on us in the
Western world to enable us to help these little ones in Uganda.  I did promise Edwin and the kids that I would make sure you all knew how grateful they are for your help.  Really, if you don't see it, it's difficult to  imagine.  With your caring hearts, you have helped children in such terrible situations come into a home where, yes, they might wet their beds due to memories of fear, but we can work with that.  You have given them safety, love and hope.  What more can you do for any child?

I also want to thank Katie and Jenese for their wonderful work in raising money for us by baking jinjabread.  They have made over 5000 cookies and raised over $1,300,00 in four months.  Thanks also to Chris for helping with all the technology.   See for updates.

God bless you all for your love and dedication in helping us.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Happiness begins with a "Smile"

Giggles and laughter are the sounds you hear from early morning until bedtime.  Such a happy sound from children who had previously experienced sadness, struggles and loneliness.  Our first seven kids have made the adjustment, knowing we love them and will not abandon them.  There are rules and there is structure but if they truly want to be in this family, they will be with us until 18 years old.  We will give them the ability to go out into the world with a trade and survive.  We will give them love and a sense of belonging to build the self esteem that most of them lack.  It all starts with a hug and a smile.

Jowell and Dennis arrived on a motorcycle just before I left.  It was so nice to watch the other kids welcome them and their sister, Joanne who already lives with us, be able to bond with her brother and sister for the first time.  These two children have really suffered and it will take extra time to heal.  I have no doubt that our kids living there will bring them around, teach them to be clean and value
themselves, but most of all teach them about Jesus who will never abandon them.  It's impossible to put the word "Thanks" into words for those of you who sponsor these kids.

The school they have been enrolled in is tough.  There is no doubt they will learn here but in order to do that, we had to place all but two back one year.  When a child cannot speak any English and has a 86% on their report card, you know something is wrong.  We only want them to succeed and will do whatever it takes.  We have been blessed with a special person that has donated money only for education within our compound. Besides the classroom she furnished and all the educational material, we still have enough money left to hire a coach to help them.  Thanks so much Nina from all of us.

Arrival day for Jowell and Dennis......They came by motorcycle (boda) and were welcomed by everyone.

Can you imagine 20 of these smiles?....can't wait

Uniform day for the new ones and a special picture with the Headmaster.  Thanks to all of you who sponsored these kids and allowed them to get a good education.  It will mean their survival in the future.

Before I left, the kids created a special song for Jaaja Barb, Uncle Edwin and all of you that helped them to have this home.  They memorized the words in English and I filmed it the day before I left.  It was amazing and eventually it will be on YouTube for you to also see.  Thanks Northview for the
Kid's Ministry t-shirts....they were a special touch.

Jaaja Barb and Uncle Edwin

Each child has his/her own garden.  They have been taught to plant, transplant and take care of them.
When the wall for our two acres is completed beside us, James, Sula and the children will finish planting there and harvesting.  We will have enough food for us and also for selling within the community to help us buy the rice and beans.   

The grass is now all planted.  Below this area, along the wall, we are hoping for a playground that our wonderful friends in London England are raising money for.  They are raising it by having a bike race.
Thanks Mark and Rachel for your determination in providing a way for fun within the compound.
If anyone would like to see, please go to:

We were all working in the compound when our Contractor John asked Edwin and I if we had just one little blanket we could spare.  There was a woman directly behind us that had just had a baby and had absolutely nothing.  Her husband had worked 2 weeks for us and we had given him a t-shirt when we arrived.  The baby was wrapped in that with a dirty curtain wrapped around that.  Paper bags on the window, no mosquito nets, no furniture.....not even a pot or pan.  We went into action and brought everything we could spare to help them out, including a curtain, mosquito net and bed for Mama and baby.  Thanks to Thomas in Hong Kong, we gave them one of the solar lights he donated so they could see at night.  It was her first and she delivered him herself.  Goes to show that the birthing kits had brought from Canada will be worthwhile over here.  We believe in education for these people and we will be having classes as soon as I go back to teach the women how to make them.  

The elderly and poor.  Thanks again to Lottie and
Marlaina for helping these two families to have
food.  Grandpa is 91 years old with grandchildren
to feed.  He has a hernia and arthritis but too old
for surgery so this food is a real blessing.
Sula and his family struggle terribly as others do
there, but you also have given hope to this family.
Sula now works for us and is trying to raise his
pigs so that he can take over the role of supporter
in this family.  Both men thank you so much.

There was no water for 4 days in our community.  We opened the well last week at 10am and closed at 8pm.  Total visitors to arrive were 1,300 with an average of 3-4 20 litre jerry cans each.  Edwin was water cop and they all minded his every word as you can see in this picture.  There comes a desperation when there is a lack of water over there.  They cannot cook, wash or clean their bodies without it.  Normally, at a boar hole you must pay also....we charge nothing so they come for miles around.  The children helped Edwin to keep them in lineups and all in all, it was a very rewarding day.  God blessed us with this well.  All the water taken had no effect on the water level.  Thanks Laury and Tom for selling your precious "Faithful" to provide life to so many people.

I'm home now, baking banana bread again and doing speaking engagements in order to raise money.  We realized that it takes more than we thought to keep it operating so we are now trying to put a sustainability program together in order for Uganda to carry on in the future. We have decided on 500 chickens which will produce eggs daily and provide an income selling them within the community.  Also, we would like to build a bakery on site to provide bread for ourselves and the many people around us. We have been given a quote of $6,000 which covers even the clientele.

We value your opinion as many of you have added your ideas in the past.  If anyone would like to either help us sponsor a child or throw some ideas around, we would be very open to listening. This Home of Angels belongs to everyone who wants to help in some way.  We couldn't have done any of it without you and we want to continue showing you all the results of changing lives.  God is using you all.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pouring Down Blessings

Edwin and I have always said, we could never have completed this massive project alone.  Because of the Grace of God and all the people He put in our path, we have created a warm loving home for kids.  Thanks to all of you who donated or sent messages of encouragement to help us grow.

When we listen to the kids prayers at night and watch them march off to church holding hands with each other, we know that our dream has come true.  These children have flourished in just a short time. It has been a month of learning and adjustments but as they grow, we know they will be moulded into good citizens of Uganda.

Our latest little one to arrive was Alan, age 2 1/2.  Alan was raised by his grandmother in a poor village north of us.  She has 8 other little grandchildren to look after so was very grateful to us for raising him.  We brought him home to find that he was very sick and undernourished.  He had bed bugs, lice, fungal disease, jiggers and Dr. Isaac had to deworm him.  The jiggers were the worst....a total of 24 of those nasty things in his fingers and toes. And then to top it off, a few days after arrival, he contracted malaria.  The life of a child in the African bush.

We are waiting for three more children to arrive from the north.  Once they are here, we will be enrolling all the children into Victoria Junior Academy, a 5 minute walk from us.  We have chosen this school because of it's strength in academics and class sizes.  A normal class here consists of 116 children.  Victoria Junior Academy averages 32 students and much more individual attention is given.

We would like to share the last month with you......

The grass hut where all meals are eaten and meetings held.

The kids playing in the yard.

The 8' wall has been built for the sustainability program but still must be plastered.  Once it is, we can start planting our vegetable gardens and raising the chickens.

Thank you Warren and Carolyn for setting up Dr. Isaac in his clinic.  The reception office is almost complete along with his cabinets for medicine.  We have had an ultra-sound machine donated from the USA which will be set up in a medical examination room.

Aunty Aidha and Aunty Aidha cooking food for the children

The children on their way to church.  Sam and Joseph are such boys....walking ahead

Barbara has now moved in with us and is teaching the kids how to make thank you cards for all the people who have helped us.  She has helped me so much with the techniques to teach English in the  Ugandan way.  We even have little Alan counting to 10 already.

Each child will start planting their own garden.  They are in the process of clearing the land.

Aunty Aidha is teaching the girls how to wash clothes properly.

Our English lessons on the back stairs

Edwin and Joseph

We opened the well to the community last week.  Hundreds of people came due to lack of rains.  We are blessed to have so much clean water to share with the poor and as long as we have it, we will continue to do this.

The Abbotsford Gleaners sent me off with 1,200 meals.  We took 100 of those meals to Alan's
village to feed them before we brought him home with us.  Everyone enjoyed it, as it had been prepared in the traditional Ugandan way.

Both Aunties prepared it a special way for Ugandan taste bud.

We will be judged by "I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.  "Hungry not only for bread, but hungry for love.....Mother Theresa

I will be departing for Vancouver on September 11th in order to raise money to put towards running our Home of Angels.  We have decided that in order to do a good job in raising these children, we will have to lower the count from 57 to 20 and put the money towards wages, food and finishing the sustainability program of gardens and chickens.  Once we can establish an income from the Ugandan side, we will be in a much better position.  In order to do this, we thought we could start a bakery in our community as there is none.  With our donated ultra-sound machine, Dr. Isaac is thinking he could charge the well-off people but will continue to help the poor at no cost.   With the wall going up, we would be able to raise money by growing maize, ground nuts and beans, all common staples in Uganda.  Then, with the chickens, we could sell the eggs at a profit and chickens for meat.  If we can build up a profit, we could then go to the deep villages for rice and beans to feed the children.

These are all things we would like to achieve but we know that in God's timing, they will happen.